He is the clown prince in a continent whose rulers boast of more clowns among them than all the circuses of the world combined. He uses more black shoe polish on his hair than a company of Rumanian hussars use on their thigh-high boots, and plasters more makeup on his face than Norma Desmond. He is, of course, Muammar Qaddafi, the Michael Jackson of pan-Arabism, and the man who just humiliated the American President, the British prime minister, and the bereaved relatives of the 270 victims of Pan Am Flight 103. Once called a “mad dog” by Ronald Reagan, he is now received as a proper head of state by cowardly lions such as the French president and the Italian prime minister and is fawned over by G-8 bureaucrooks as he swans around surrounded by 40 female bodyguards (handpicked by the chief clown) “whose otherwise generous terms of employment include a solemn vow of chastity,” as the Telegraph’s William Langley puts it.
The lure of detonating people came home to roost for Qaddafi when his four-year-old daughter was killed in an American air raid back in 1986. Two years later came Lockerbie. It was obvious that the Mad Dog had learned nothing except that the West was weak. In 1984 Libyan so-called diplomats had shot dead a female police officer, WPC Yvonne Fletcher, as she performed her duties in St. James’s Square, outside the Libyan embassy. The thugs were allowed to leave London on board a special plane sent by Qaddafi, while the Iron Lady fumed at 10 Downing Street. Such are the joys of diplomatic immunity.
No one knows for sure where the Mad Dog comes from. As Langley writes,
His name alone makes him a Google nightmare with at least 30 different spellings: Gaddafi, Gadhafi, Kaddafi, Khadafy, Qudaffi Qadhdhafi . . . He was a man from nowhere, paranoid and unstable, who appeared to live in a tent, communing with the dunes, and emerging only occasionally to reveal that our national poet was really an Arab called Sheik Espir, or that the American Indians originated from the Yemen.
Of his early life little is known, and even less is certain. He was born, it is said, in Sirte, a desert town, the son of a goatherd. Other versions suggest that his real father may have been French, and his mother Jewish. . . . Today he is the world’s third longest-serving head of state. He still talks himself a big role in the world—“I am an international leader, the King of Kings of Africa and the Imam of the Muslims” . . .
He is, incidentally, a favorite son for some Israelis, because his instability confirms Likud’s big lie that all Arabs are bomb throwers who like to kill Jews in their spare time. Qaddafi has six sons, one worse than the next, according to my sources, and judging by the one I met, you’d better believe it, dear reader.
Nat Rothschild, son of Lord Rothschild, threw a bash last year in his luxurious Greenwich Village townhouse in Saif Qaddafi’s honor. Qaddafi was dressed like a pimp, with a Hollywood-like two-day growth and a manner to match. My first and only question was, “Are you for Abbas or Hamas?” “Hamas,” he said and then walked imperiously away. The sons all live like billionaires. They fly in very large private jets, hire large yachts for their Mediterranean holidays, and are always guarded by battalions of security men who stop traffic when the boys decide to take in the sights. Which are mainly nightclubs flush with Eastern European hookers.
Although Qaddafi remains mercurial, menacing, and murderous, people such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have embraced him of late thanks to—yes, you guessed it—Libya’s untapped oil reserves. Big Oil has declared Qaddafi a good guy, and when the oil companies speak, politicians are all ears. The latest fiasco was typical Qaddafi. Having convinced the British as well as Obama that his 42 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas recast him as a valuable Western ally, the nod-and-wink game went into effect. Qaddafi wanted the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing back in Libya in time for the 40th anniversary of his having seized power. Ali al-Megrahi—if he was the one responsible—was only following orders from the big man himself. The Brits decided to hell with justice, profits come first. Qaddafi promised Megrahi would keep a low profile. But by having my old friend Saif fly him to Libya to a hero’s welcome, he rubbed the West’s nose yet again in the you-know-what. The fact that everyone responsible is now screaming bloody murder is proof, to this writer, that once again the fix was in. In the meantime, the bad guy who supposedly planted the bomb did less than two weeks’ time for each of his innocent victims. Big Oil wins, as does the Mad Dog.
It was a cynical deal from start to finish. In contrast to Iraq, the invasion of which Tony Blair enthusiastically supported on the flimsiest of grounds, Libya under Qaddafi not only had a long history of sponsoring terrorism but had committed numerous atrocities and political assassinations on British soil. However awful it sounds, welcome to modern Britain.